STMA to construct modern markets to boost local economy

The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) has announced that it will construct modern markets that will befit the status of the metropolis as well help businesses to thrive for the growth of the economy.

According to STMA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Anthony K.K Sam, the market at Sekondi has become too old which needs to be renovated and expanded to meet the growing population in the area as that of Takoradi also needs to be worked on.

“Before any work can take place, we need to have satellite market before we can pull down these markets within the metropolis; we have investors who have expressed interest and that we are waiting for their drawings and the necessary procedures for work to start”, he added.

The MCE announced this in response to a question raised on the state of some markets within the metropolis at a press briefing by the STMA on the progress of some of the developmental activities within the city.

He stated that the second phase of a decongestion exercise undertaken by the assembly has been successful so far, with the support of personnel from the military, police, community police and the Metro guards.

“The ultimate objective of the exercise was to clear roads, pavements and walkways of unauthorized trading activities and temporary structures especially within the central business district of Takoradi” he explained.

For now, he said, traders are permitted to trade within the inner and outer perimeters of the market circle only on Saturdays and after 4pm during the weekdays.

“As part of the decongestion exercise, some temporary structures were demolished as announced before commencement of the exercise.”

He pointed out that some of the areas where the demolition exercise was undertaken are Takoradi, Sekondi, Kojokrom, Kwesimintsim, Kansaworado, Fijai among others; debris of the demolished structures have been collected to pave way for the planting of green grass and other ornamental plants by the Parks and Gardens unit of the Assembly as well as paving the sidewalks.

Mr. Sam stated that the Assembly is continually engaging owners of all marked temporary structures especially along the ceremonial roads to either relocate or reposition their structures in line with the Assembly’s beautification plan.

“Owners of dilapidated and abandoned permitted temporary structures are being advised to remove or recondition them in line with the Assembly’s standard. At the appropriate time, the Assembly will move to demolish all such structures should the owners fail to comply with our directives” he added.

Also, he announced the Assembly’s intention to enforce its relevant bye-laws to ensure that owners of all permitted temporary structures repaint their structures in accordance with the colour code of each sub metro. The colour codes for the four sub metropolitan district councils are; Sekondi – Green, Takoradi – blue, Essikado-Ketan – Yellow and Effia-Kwesimintsim – wine.

“At the moment, the Assembly has started engaging all stakeholders who matter in this direction and will in due course set a deadline after which those who will fail to comply will be dealt with in accordance with the Assembly’s bye-laws” he said.

The assembly, he pointed out incurred a lot of cost in undertaken such exercises. “Monies which are to be used for equally important developments are spent on personnel to ensure that they keep our streets and pavements free from traders. As at the close of sixth week (Friday 9th February, 2018) of the first and second phase of the exercise, a total amount of GHc 72, 567.10 has been spent on allowance for the personnel, refreshment and fuel”.

Alleged Galamsey activities at the Essei Lagoon

Last week, he said, there was a rumour out there that some people have started illegal mining ‘galamsey’ activities at the Essei lagoon in Sekondi; I want to use this platform to set the records straight.

“The fact of the matter is that the Assembly over the past six years has been dredging the lagoon as part of preparations towards the Easter festivities to enable holidaymakers and inhabitants to swim during the holidays. However, the use of excavators to dredge the lagoon over the years has been observed not to be effective” he said.

Towards the end of last year, he explained that the Assembly received a proposal from a company who expressed interest to partner with the Assembly to effectively dredge the lagoon before this year’s Easter festivities. A five-member committee was therefore set up to engage and negotiate with the Company.

He said after several months of discussions and negotiations with the manager of the company, official letter was issued to the company to commence the dredging and ensure completion before the Easter holidays.

Although, he said, the setup of the machine being used by the contractor is similar to what the galamsayers use. “He is not prospecting or digging for gold, I am reliably informed that the original use of the machine was for dredging of reservoirs and dams till the galamsey operators found it useful for their operations”

He added that the contractor is expected to finish the work and leave the site before the ester holidays.

Sofokrom Haulage Terminal and Road works

Work is progressing steadily on the Sofokrom Haulage Terminal. So far, the drains have been constructed, the road surface graded and the parking area prepared.

The outstanding issues are the provision and spreading of quarry product (0-40) on the road and parking area surface as well as the lighting up of the site for the trucks to relocate from Fijai to the new site.

Two important roads are also being worked on to make them motorable pending major rehabilitation to upgrade their surface conditions. These are, the Coco-villa and the CDH roads; the Coco-villa road is fairly improved at the moment. The potholes are to be patched to make it more comfortable to drive on

The CDH road, though done to some extent, has some drainage challenge at a particular location. An existing culvert has been blocked by a developer and this has impeded the flow of run-off water. This developer is being invited by the Assembly for discussion to resolve the drainage problem and finishing touches will be done to the road.

Environmental Sanitation

The Assembly continues to enforce its bye-laws on open defecation. Few days ago, fourteen people were arrested at Ngyiresi, Sekondi (around the junior rate officers’ mess) and New-site close to the Takoradi Technical University (TTU).

All the fourteen people were made to pay a spot fine of GH200.00 each.

The Assembly, intends to intensify its programme this year to ensure that every household within the metro owns a waste bin. The environmental health department has been tasked to enforce this directive. And will require the support of all stakeholders.